Case Studies

Absolute Caulking & Waterproofing Inc.

Creating career opportunities in Colorado

For the past 20 years, Absolute Caulking & Waterproofing (ACW) Inc. has offered extensive product knowledge and installation expertise on both new construction and restoration projects. Serving the states of Colorado and Wyoming, the ACW team works closely with clients to create the best possible solution for their moisture protection needs.

ACW was founded in August 1996 by Scott Deering with the vision to be the most trusted and sought-after waterproofing contractor. Working in the construction industry since 1979, he began his career immediately after graduating from high school, working during the day while attending college classes at night.

Absolute Caulking & Waterproofing Inc.

When Deering started ACW, he was the sole employee. At the time of the company’s inception, Deering focused on completing small jobs as a way to establish a presence in the local market. Today the company has grown to approximately 50 employees and has expanded its operations to large, commercial undertakings. “One of the biggest milestones for me was when I hired my first full-time estimator,” Deering recalls. “That was one of the many hats I used to wear. We now have three estimators and a full-time human resources manager.”

Setting the bar high

The mission of ACW is to safely deliver project-specific waterproofing systems on time and within budget. The company works together to provide solutions from design to completion and focuses on quality, efficiency, professionalism and safety to surpass the expectations of its clients. “We strive to create long-lasting relationships with our clients based on mutual respect and trust,” says Deering. “A safe, professional and efficient project is our goal 100 percent of the time.”

Over the years, the company has shifted its efforts toward complex, large-scale projects with diverse scopes of work. “Creating this niche has been very intentional and strategic,” Deering explains. “It takes an extensive team to be able to play at this level due to the high expectations.”

Although it took many years to reach the level of work that ACW now focuses on, Deering set his eyes on completing large-scale complex projects from day one. Eventually, ACW was able to remove itself from the hard-bid market in order to pursue negotiated work.

Building a great team

Of the many challenges that companies face in the construction industry, a commonly shared obstacle remains a shortage of workforce throughout the nation. ACW combats this by relying on its reputation as a great company to work for and by investing in its people. “We provide competitive pay with a great benefits package,” says Deering. “We also invest heavily in our employee development program, which helps us to retain our highly skilled workers.”

From the early days of Deering juggling numerous responsibilities, he credits the company’s growth to the strong team he has assembled over the years. “They are absolutely the reason for the success of ACW,” he shares. “We have a lot of great people working for us.”

When it comes to company culture, ACW views its success as a three-legged stool with efficiency, quality and safety providing the required support. “I don’t believe you can do one of these aspects successfully without the others,” says Nicholas Williams, safety director for ACW. “The team concept is very important to us. We view our employees, clients, vendors and the communities we work in as members of our team.”

. The company has taken on the responsibility of creating skilled laborers rather than expecting them to present themselves. “There aren’t really any schools that are turning out the people that are skilled in our scope of work,” says Williams. “We have to train our people and take care of them so they will stay with us through the future.”

Williams and the company’s field operations manager conduct all interviews for potential new hires. The interview process includes a questionnaire that delves into the character of the interviewee, rather than only concentrating on what skills they possess. “We realized a couple of years ago that instead of hiring someone based on their expertise or knowledge, it’s about finding the folks who are passionate about learning new skills and establishing a career where they can develop themselves and move up in the company,” Williams explains.

Ongoing training and reliable industry insight have been crucial to both company and employee development. As a member of the American Subcontractors Association (ASA), ACW benefits from the education and explanation of language in contracts. “The association has some great programs usually presented by attorneys that help people to understand what they are signing,” says Deering. “I think a lot of companies don’t fully understand the risk they are taking with some of the contracts they take on.” As chair of the legislative advocacy council, Deering often forwards legislation and/or opens discussions with stakeholders about industrywide practices.

A strong Denver presence

ACW’s winning combination of in-house expertise, professionalism and strong industry connections has paved the way for a host of major opportunities in the Denver market.

The company recently partnered with Holland Construction on Pivot Denver, a mixed-use development at 17th Street and Wewatta in Denver’s Union Station neighborhood. ACW provided joint sealants and waterproofing for this 580-unit residential facility that also features a 580,000-square-foot Whole Foods Market.

Pivot Denver is slated for completion in April 2018 and will include one level of underground parking, three levels of above-grade parking and three 10-story apartment towers that will sit above the parking structure. “This is one of our biggest projects to date,” says Williams. “We’re very excited to work with Holland Construction, which is a highly qualified national contracting firm that does everything right from the beginning. It’s also a beautiful building that will change the skyline of Denver and that’s always fun to be a part of.”

Projects like Pivot Denver exemplify the success and growth that ACW has experienced over 20 years — and the company shows no signs of slowing down. With an extensive business plan and a growing backlog of challenging projects, ACW expects to double its capacity over the next seven years. The strategic approach for ACW is to increase annually by approximately 10 percent.

Professionalism, quality and integrity will remain standards in Absolute Caulking & Waterproofing Inc.’s business practices, creating further opportunities for employee growth and significant brand expansion.

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